Here is The Secret Berliner Environmentalist

PHOTO - Quinet

Every morning, every afternoon, every evening of every day; secret environmentalists make their way along our streets. The bottles left on corners and footpaths after a wild night out, are gone the next day. The garbage left in bins behind supermarkets, never arrives at BSR (Berliner Stadtreinigung: the city's municipal waste disposal company). One could almost wonder: does it make Berlin cleaner?

They usually travel alone. You can tell them by their collection of practical shopping bags and rolling trolleys of luggage. When they move, they do so with a rhythmic clatter of their own. There is always one there. You can count on them when you leave your bottle in the U-Bahn.

Some of them I've known for months. They are organized, plan their actions closely and yet remain underground. They avoid direct eye contact. The secret environmentalists have another currency: counted in 8, 15 and 25-cent denominations. No one disputes their position: it is theirs alone to hold.

It could be a wonderful idea.

By Stefanie Talaska
Translated by Neal James

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